I’ve written previously about the trend in voiceover away from the traditional “announcer” style to a more “regular guy” sound; a trend that’s been going on for at least 10 years now. (Actually I think it’s more like 20 years. See my story in the following paragraphs.) David Houston, a very fine voiceover guy, has a somewhat different take at his blog. It’s well worth a few minutes of your time.
And while I’m thinking about this subject, a quick story:
I first ran into this “regular guy” phenomenon at a recording session in Chicago sometime in the mid-1980s. For some months back then, I’d been the voice for a continuing series of radio and television ads for a local clothing store chain.
So, I arrive for my next recording session and there’s another guy there, who is going to do some of the voice work this time. They have him record first and I think he sounds terrible. No smoothness to his delivery. His voice is kind of scratchy sounding. He doesn’t sound like a professional. In fact, he sounds like someone they just called in off the street.
When he’s finished, I go into the studio, feeling pretty full of myself. I rip through the copy, even getting a couple in just one take. When I’m done, they ask me to wait in the control room while they call the client to play the takes. The client decides the other guy’s reads are the ones they’re going with. Only one of mine is going to run.
Woosh! That was the sound of the air rushing out of my balloon. And, though it would take me a few years, it was also the start of my efforts to sound more like a real person and less like an “announcer.”
(post edited to correct typos)